I recently learned that a 12-year-old client of mine contributed to a local podcast episode to talk about his experience with stuttering. He was kind enough to share the transcript with us. Please enjoy!
By Tyler, 12 years old
“When I hear someone say “haha you stutter” or “just don’t stutter”, my body sinks down and I feel embarrassed. Since I was born I have stuttered. Stuttering has been something that I have always had and when I was very young it wasn’t really an issue. “Stuttering will be with you forever and will not go away. There will always be a stuttering residual, so learn how to deal with those moments of stuttering”(Mnsu.edu). This relates to me because so many people think that I can just stop stuttering, but you really can’t. I can try and slow down but I can’t not stutter. A lot of my friends say to me “don’t stutter” or “slow down” and it really doesn’t help at all.
According to the Stuttering Foundation “More than 70 million people worldwide stutter, which is about 1% of the population. In the United States, that’s over 3 million Americans who stutter.” This impacts me because it shows that I am not the only one who stutters and that it is actually very common.
In this past year I have been working with a speech therapist who has helped me get over the fear of messing up by stuttering and caring about what others think about my stutter. She has worked with me by calling stores and restaurants and telling them that I stutter and then ordering something. This has been very helpful and I have given up this fear of messing up by stuttering.
“People who stutter often try to avoid stuttering, perhaps by trying to speak quickly, by forcing through moments of stuttering, or by not speaking at all when they fear that they might stutter. These behaviors can actually increase the likelihood that more stuttering will result, and they lead to greater impact of stuttering on the person’s life” (National Stuttering Association).
This quote relates to me because this happens to me. In the past couple of years I have talked really fast through things to try and not stutter. I did this because I didn’t want kids to make fun of me. Now I am not worried about what others think. I speak without worry, and I hope this encourages other stutterers too.
With a perspective I am Tyler S.”
The American Institute for Stuttering is a leading non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide universally affordable, state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to speech professionals wishing to gain expertise in stuttering. Offices are located in New York, NY and Atlanta, GA, and services are also available Online. Our mission extends to advancing public and scholarly understanding of this often misunderstood disorder.